A British woman has been threatened with a visit from police for refusing to download the NHS coronavirus tracking app on her smartphone and allowing herself to be tracked. This the latest story in how the coronavirus is leading to an erosion of civil liberties in many countries.
The woman recently tested positive for COVID and is in self-isolation at home.
She received more than 20 text messages ordering her to download the app. She argues the app is a privacy issue for her. Besides, she is self-isolating at home, meaning she is not a risk to anyone.
Test and Trace called her on the phone and warned her that there would be a “police check at your address if you do not download the app.” She was infuriated by the call and hung up. She is now waiting to see what happens.
“Her sister who lives in Skipton tested positive a few days ago – she only took the test because she’d lost her sense of smell. She had no other symptoms to speak of. She self-isolated immediately.
This was followed by “in excess” of 20 text messages demanding that she download the NHS App. She did not do so since she doesn’t want to be followed round by it and she’s self-isolating anyway.
She was then telephoned by the Test and Trace system and the caller threatened her with a “police check at your address if you do not download the app.” Utterly furious, she ended the phone call and is waiting to see what happens next.
Needless to say, there is no such legal basis for the threat: the app is entirely voluntary. One wonders what the motivation for the threat is – is the Test and Trace system based on some sort of “results” score sheet? Are they even paid by the download? God knows.
It just shows you how it doesn’t have to be the government introducing a Stasi system of rule – some members of the Great British Public are only too happy to do it for them off their own bats. That’s actually more frightening.”
This story follows another nationwide lockdown in the country that will last at least until December 1. The threat of a police visit is just another example of how government agencies are trying to use coronavirus to implement restrictions on digital privacy.